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Protect our role, ignore bureaucratic labels

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The protection of title is hardly an effective means of achieving protection of the profession, the consumer or the environment. It is a label of status and, above all, without the protection of function, describes architects as pedantic elitists.

I spent numerous years at university learning about the principles of design and how society, politics and technology have informed design throughout history. I also learned about contracts, specifications and law/ statute. I have been applying this knowledge since, and all the while faced positive and negative criticism of my efforts. I would hope that this qualifies me to be able to design buildings, not to a title.

Architecture is a new profession. It is a label describing a group that protects its membership. It is, like all professions, exclusionary by virtue of this alone. Architects have become scapegoats for the increasing ugliness of the environment.

The bureaucratic mazes that need to be negotiated stifle quality just as much as they attempt to control rampant development for profit. Add to this gross ideological conservatism massaged by constant media propaganda. Mass media is the voice box of idiots without editing. Not every voice should be heard, but the media is edited by the power behind the will.

Woe is me for not living during the Roman Empire.

Architectural language (not the clothes that buildings wear but the matter of their space) always describes the era's attitude.

Then, huge arenas to demonstrate power over the people.

Now, stacked offices to demonstrate our placeless complicity with financial power. And endless repetition of country rural cottages in suburbia to demonstrate our nostalgic distaste for this modern world we all comply with.

So protect architects' function, protect socially and environmentally conscious design, not elitist bureaucratic nonsense about the label you call yourself.

Conor E McKee London

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